Shock Wave Therapy Treatment for Arthralgia in RA Patients

HealthDay News — Radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy (rESWT) is beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis with arthralgia, according to research published online in PAIN Practice.

Yiming Liu, MD, from the Peking University People’s Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues present a series of 15 patients who suffered from arthralgia after being on disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for more than 3 months. Patients received adjuvant rESWT for 3 months.

The researchers observed significant reductions in visual analogue scale scores (resting state) from 2.90 ± 0.74 to 0.80 ± 0.79 (P=.004), visual analogue scale scores (active state) from 5.70 ± 1.33 to 2.20 ± 0.63 (P<.001), morning stiffness duration from 2.25 ± 0.79 hours to 1.05 ± 0.69 hours (P=.004), disease activity score with 28-joint counts based on erythrocyte sedimentation rate from 6.34 ± 0.72 to 4.19 ± 0.59 (P=.001), and health assessment questionnaire scores from 10.20 ± 2.35 to 5.00 ± 2.62 (P=.005) in the 3 month post-therapy follow-up compared with the pre-therapy baseline.

For erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein, the pre-post changes were not statistically significant. Eleven participants stopped analgesics completely by the end of treatment; the other four were on a lower dosage. There were no severe adverse effects related to rESWT.

“To our knowledge, this is the first report using this therapy to treat arthralgia in rheumatoid arthritis,” the authors write.

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Liu Y, Zhnag T, Feng Y. Radical Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Relief of Arthralgia in Rheumatoid Arthritis. WOL. [Published online June 30, 2017]. Accessed July 10, 2017. doi:10.1111/papr.12608